This is a new blog, actually I have never written a blog before but it seems like a useful place to record something that needs more text than an instagram post but less than a book. Yesterday I started a month long break from social media, partly because my brain just felt full all the time, with little time to reflect. I am very aware of the immediate audience on instagram, here..I am talking only to myself until I decide to publish, if I do at all. I have recently been re examining the relationship my mothers death in 2006 has had on me long term. Her death was a little different as she took a plane to Zurich, Switzerland and drank a lethal barbituate drink in a 'clinic' that looked more like an ex council flat than the sparkly white medical ward I had expected. The months leading up to her assisted suicide were extremely dark, leaving myself, my father and my siblings with unspeakably horrific memories to carry for the rest of our lives. She was terrified of illness and death, she was morbidly depressed. She never came to terms with what was happening and perhaps that is partly why the experience has had such long lasting affects on me and my work. After her death I spiralled into a depressive state and was diagnosed with PTSD, given medication and referred to cruise bereavement for counselling. After my initial assessment the counselling team said I should attend every week for at least a year and that really my whole family needed therapy together. The trouble with that was, my family was so damaged that was never going to happen. Dad had a new girlfriend already and doing what a lot of bereaved men do, entered into a doomed relationship to mask his pain. My counselling sessions made me very distressed, so upset in fact that I stopped going after 6 weeks. I had nobody to turn to except an on/off boyfriend who I was falling excruciatingly in love with, entangling my feelings for him with the trauma of this part of my life. I was terrified of losing him after losing her. I did lose him and I did lose her. Recently I have started a mentoring relationship with Dyana Gravina of Procreate Project to explore this trauma and how I might use my practice as a form of healing. I have started a series of works called 'integrated grief' which consist of intuitive, experimental drawings and paintings on paper.